Miss Independence Day crowned
BY STACI WILSON
Olivia Ely, 15, of Montrose, was crowned Miss Independence Day 2013 and will preside over the Kiwanis-Lions-Rotary 4th of July festivities in Montrose.
The 2012 title holder, Caitlyn Daly, presented Ely with her sash and crown last week.
She is the daughter of Jennifer and Guy David Ely.
“I love the 4th of July,” Ely said. “It allows me to see people I haven’t seen in a while at the parade and spend time with my church family at the softball field watching the fireworks.”
One of her favorite Montrose 4th of July memories is the year she rode in the parade on a wagon being pulled by our ponies. Ely was dressed as Betsy Ross sewing the last stitches onto the Flag of The United States of America as she looked out at the parade-goers from her vantage point on the wagon.
This year, she will have a similar view of the thousands of people who line the Montrose parade route. But instead of being dressed as Betsy Ross, Ely will be outfitted in a gown provided by Ruthann’s Bridal.
It’s not just the festivities that she appreciates about the holiday. “Most important is the reason why we celebrate,” she said. “July 4th is a reminder of the birth of our nation and the brave men who courageously fought so that we could be free. It is a day when we also honor the many men and women who are still sacrificing so much so that we can continue to enjoy those many freedoms.”
Ely, a homeschooled rising junior, is a member of “Rising Hope,” praise and worship band where she plays keyboards and performs on vocals. The group leads worship services for children’s Wednesday night clubs at The Evangelical Free Church of Montrose.
She also help with the church’s Vacation Bible School and participates as a coach in the Upward Sports programs.
Ely has taken her faith beyond the church walls, recently traveling with other church members on a mission trip to Guatamala, visiting hospitals, orphanages and schools.
She works at the Montrose Bible Conference as a server and a housekeeper.
She is also a member of the Montrose Area High School girls’ soccer team.
Ely is also committed to volunteerism, helping with the annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale started by her family in memory of her sister, Alayna.
“This year I took the reigns and organized the sale,” she said. “The proceeds were given to the Stahl family to help them celebrate Matthew’s birthday and to the Roszel family to help with the medical bills for Noah and Naomi.
Ely was also involved in a Valentine’s Day fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center to give the children’s room a makeover.